Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork with Cornmeal Pancakes
Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork is a foolproof method to lure a man to your kitchen.
I’m sure this method is effective for attracting women and dogs too, I just haven’t tested it yet.
We’ve entered the time of year when Ben leaves me for the other woman in his life—the University of Wisconsin Law Library. His finals begin Thursday with gusto, and by “gusto” I mean an eight-hour in-class exam. The professor hands the students a single, multi-page problem, the clock starts, and the students write furiously for eight hours. Bathroom and snack breaks are optional. The last time Ben had an eight-hour exam (this will be his third), he didn’t even touch his lunch.
Seeing as I can barely focus for eight consecutive minutes (I’ve checked Instagram three times since starting this post), the component of my husband’s brain that allows him to zero in and type for eight consecutive hours astounds me. Part of his laser-beam ability stems from the sheer pressure and importance of law school GPA (I talk a little bit about that here.) The remainder I believe to be fueled by Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork.
While Ben and I make a point to share dinner together most evenings, during the final few weeks before exams, Ben often eats his dinner in the library. I try to be supportive. After all, I enjoy a good excuse to meet girlfriends for margaritas and evenings to myself with wine and some version of this outrageous chipotle grilled cheese. After a certain point, however, I need to one-up the library. The force of Ben’s study willpower is strong, but the temptation of Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork is stronger.
While driving Ben to school last weekend, I casually asked if he was planning to stay late. As he opened his mouth to say yes, I blurted out, “because if not, I thought I’d make pulled pork for dinner.” Immediately, he replied that I could pick him up at seven.
Exploiting my husband’s weakness for pulled pork is not among my more selfless wifely actions, but we loved this Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork so much, I’ve decided the benefit to Ben’s spirit more than offset his time away from the books. Judging by the sheer quantity of Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork Ben consumed, I’m confident that he agrees.
Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork is sweet, smoky, and couldn’t be simpler to prepare. The cooking liquid is a quick mix of honey, smoked paprika and cayenne for heat, and apple cider vinegar for bite and balance. Pour the liquid over the pork, set the slow cooker, and go about your day while the smoky honey pork magic happens.
Traditionally, high-fat pork shoulder is used in slow cooker pulled pork recipes, but I opted for the leaner pork loin and was completely pleased with how moist and fall-apart tender the final dish came out to be. Pork loin does have a higher fat content than pork tenderloin (the leanest cut), but the trade off for juiciness is worth it, and it costs a few bucks less a pound. Win!
After the pork finishes cooking, I reduced the honey cooking liquid into a sticky, smoky, sweet glaze that is totally appropriate to lick off of your fingers. It adds about eight minutes to the total prep time, but is absolutely worth it for the extra moisture and flavor it provides.
The smoky honey glaze in this recipe cries out for one of my other all-time favorite foods: cornbread. For a fun twist, I served the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork over cornmeal pancakes. Perfection. The cornmeal pancakes drink up the extra honey glaze, complement the pork’s smokiness, and are a total free pass at breakfast for dinner. Chicken and waffles, watch out—Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork with Cornmeal Pancakes is here to do some tasty business.
While you can certainly use your favorite cornmeal pancake recipe, I absolutely love Bob’s Red Mill’s Cornmeal Pancake Mix (no, this is not a sponsored post—I just think it is a great product.) The pancakes are 100% whole grain, take all of five minutes to prepare, and any leftovers are fabulous reheated in the toaster the next morning. While I love from-scratch pancakes, I can’t lie—these cornmeal cakes are (and taste exactly like) the real deal.
Whether you are looking for an easy dinner recipe, a finger-lickin’ crowd-pleaser, or a no-fail love potion, Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork with Cornmeal Pancakes has you covered.
Just promise me that no matter how bad Ben’s finals become, you won’t let me wear pulled pork perfume. My dignity (and everyone who comes within a 12-foot radius of my person) thank you in advance.
Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork Over Cornmeal Pancakes
An easy recipe for healthier slow cooker pulled pork with a smoky honey glaze. Serve over cornmeal pancakes for a delicious and unique twist.
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours, 25 minutes
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add less for less heat)
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced with white and green parts divided
- 1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal Pancake Mix (or your favorite cornmeal pancake recipe)
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, garlic, cayenne, and white part of the scallions (reserve the green parts for serving).
- Spray insert of a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pork loin in the insert, then pour the honey mixture over the top. Cover and slow cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high, until the pork registers 165 degrees F on a thermometer and is no longer pink in the center. With tongs, gently remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer it to a large plate, reserving the pork juices in the slow cooker. With two forks, shred the pork. Set aside.
- Transfer the pork juices remaining in the slow cooker to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, then add to the cooking liquid. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Return shredded pork to the slow cooker and pour the thickened sauce over the top. Toss gently to combine, then turn the slow cooker to low to keep the pork warm.
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. When ready to serve, prepare the cornmeal pancakes. As you cook the pancake batches, transfer them to a baking tray placed in the oven to keep them warm if needed.
- To serve: Top cornmeal pancakes with pulled pork. Garnish with reserved green onion tops and serve warm.
Slow cooker to the rescue!
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I am an ambassador for Bob’s Red Mill but was not obligated to write or compensated for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
A very important P.S. THANK YOU ALL so, so much for your wonderful birthday wishes. I want to give each of you a hug and mail you a giant slice of cake. Your warm words made my birthday so very happy. I am truly blessed!